Triodos Bank’s community of co-workers are highly engaged and committed individuals who are inspired and connected by a sense of purpose that’s linked to its mission. To truly make money work for positive social, environmental and cultural change, the organisation and its co-workers are closely connected to its mission and values, but also think and act effectively as One Bank.

Last year was a year of transformation, in part in service of this goal. Many changes had a direct impact on the type of work Triodos Bank does and where and how it happens; from moving into new buildings, to implementing new ways of working, responsibilities and redefining roles.

2020 will build on these developments and be a year to embed the changes which began in 2019.

The following table provides a summary of progress against the prospects identified in the 2018 annual report. The content in this table is explored in more depth in the text itself.

Our key objectives for 2019

Input from HR Strategic Plan

Progress at a glance

● ● ● Met     ● ● ○ Mostly met     ● ○ ○ Partially met     ○ ○ ○ Not met

‘A step-up in organisational development by having sound and clear ways of working within, and between, units. This will make sure Triodos Bank works more efficiently and is visibly ‘in control’.

A ‘blueprint design’, with clear roles and responsibilities, was finalised for relevant parts of the organisation. Implementation plans have been defined.

Functional reporting lines between the Triodos Group and local operating units have been defined and implementation has begun. This has enabled the organisation to be more effective, efficient and visibly in control. This includes the changed relationship with the UK which had to become a subsidiary as a result of Brexit.

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To design and implement an Organisational Culture Programme to enable leadership and co-workers to take their role and responsibility in wider change.

With external support, organisational culture was assessed in the light of the three-year strategy. Themes and behaviours have been defined to support delivering the strategy and mission in the current challenging context.

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Delivering changes in the business

In order to deliver business changes in an effective and efficient way domains have been set up. Domains are multidisciplinary teams using an agile approach that improve products and services and make sure they comply with regulations, improve customer satisfaction, reduce operational costs and increase revenue. The priorities of stakeholders, on a local as well as group level, come together in these diverse teams. There are seven domains currently: onboarding and servicing, payments and savings, investments, business lending, community engagement and communication, Know Your Customer and fraud and transparent reporting.

Organisational changes

A low interest rate environment and growing regulatory demands, across Europe, are expected to continue for a longer period. In this context Triodos Bank has decided not to make the large investment required to establish a banking branch in France. Following this decision, Triodos Bank has started to consult with relevant representative bodies on its intention to close the intermediary office currently operating in Paris.

There were important changes in senior leadership in parts of the organisation during the year. Pierre Aeby stepped down as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the Triodos Group. As described in last year’s report his position has been split into Chief Risk Officer (CRO) and CFO roles. The Executive Board now has four members as a result. Carla van der Weerdt was appointed as the new CRO and a new CFO, André Haag, started on 1 January 2020.

Co-worker feedback

An international co-worker survey was conducted in the spring of 2019. This was the second time an international survey was held. The aim of the survey was to understand the co-worker experience within Triodos Bank better, identify areas for improvement and where best practice is happening to share and celebrate it. A comparison was made with the 2017 results. The analysis focused on three themes; Vitality, Efficiency and Changeability.

Responses, of 84.7%, were very high (2017: 83.3%). The commitment and engagement score was lower than in 2017 but was still high compared to a key Global Employee Engagement external benchmark.

A few themes, including flexible working, working more efficiently, well-being and vitality and learning and development are relevant for the whole organisation and appeared in most of the department plans.

Flexible working

A lot of feedback in the survey focused on the need to work together and more flexibly. Specific actions were taken. For example, in Spain a pilot for flexible spaces was launched and now most co-workers can work from home on one day per week. In Belgium a ‘working from home’ policy was finalised. All Belgian co-workers received tools to enable them to work from home effectively and in 2019 almost 60% of the Belgian co-workers spend some time working from home. The UK office ran focus groups in 2019 to identify changes needed to create a flexible and responsive working environment. These are planned for roll out in 2020.

The move to new buildings in The Netherlands and Germany also contributed to working more together and more flexibly.  Triodos Bank Germany moved to a new building at the start of 2019. This office is more spacious and benefits from an ‘open plan’ design that also supports better collaboration.

In The Netherlands all the Triodos Bank Netherlands, Triodos Investment Management and Triodos Regenerative Money Centre co-workers moved into a new building towards the end of 2019. The new office is a unique structure in a unique location. The criteria for choosing this new location included proximity to public transport and an identity that matches Triodos Bank’s own. The ‘Reehorst’ is located very close to a train station and has implemented a concept of flex-working which means co-workers choose a workspace that best suits their current activity. The concept facilitates communication between colleagues and stimulates moving around and meeting others. In addition, it allows efficient and flexible use of the available space. The environmental report provides more detail on the ground-breaking environmental performance of the building.

Working more efficiently

Many co-workers listed efficiency as a key priority in the survey. Lean and agile projects designed to empower teams to innovate, adapt, and deliver value faster, and the set-up of Domains across the organisation contributed to working more efficiently over the short and long term during the year. In addition, teams and departments explored ways to improve efficiency themselves. For example, the UK office reviewed the culture around meetings, through focus groups. A ‘Meeting Code’ was created as a result and all co-workers have signed up to it. In Spain the office launched two local domains during the year: onboarding and servicing, and business lending.

In Belgium a ‘Teampact’ project was launched within Retail Banking to make the different commercial teams work as one. It’s expected that this will create development opportunities for co-workers and foster greater control over career paths within Triodos Bank.

Well-being

Well-being and vitality were also identified as important topics in the survey. Co-workers have indicated that their workload sometimes feels excessive. In The Netherlands co-workers were invited to participate in ‘burn-out’ prevention research, providing a personal risk profile and recommendations for the organisation about how to prevent burn-out. The research will provide the organisation with insights to reduce the risk of work-related stress.

In the UK attention was paid to mental health during 2019. 30 co-workers are now professionally trained Mental Health First Aiders.

Learning and development

Being a learning organisation is a key priority for Triodos Bank. It enables it to act individually and collectively to deliver its mission and fulfil its purpose. Learning and development is relevant for all co-workers, regardless of their role or seniority.

In 2019 learning and development activities on a Group level focused on the organisation’s values and mission, leadership development, and supporting the transformation to agile and lean ways of working.

New initiatives included Reflection Days at Triodos Bank Belgium, which arranged for a diverse group of co-workers to interact on Triodos Bank’s values, reflect on their own connection to the mission and the inspiration it brings. A development programme for Senior Relationship Managers was also designed and successfully launched. It offers the opportunity to strengthen expertise, develop skills and reinforces Triodos Bank’s approach to managing relationships.

At a local level, all co-workers receive regular performance and career development reviews. In 2020 a move towards a continuous performance dialogue is expected. In addition, local meetings for all co-workers every Monday provide a regular opportunity to share relevant issues. External speakers also provide talks that offer insights and knowledge on topics of interest to a broad group of co-workers. We offer individual support, when relevant, to assist co-workers when transitioning from Triodos Bank to new employment.

From the co-worker survey and many conversations with co-workers there are significant variations in how learning and development at Triodos Bank is perceived by different co-worker groups. As a first step to a more structured approach to this work, in 2020 an online learning environment will be made available where co-workers can find an overview of on and offline learning opportunities across Triodos Bank.

Responsible employer

For Triodos Bank being a responsible employer means taking care of the well-being of its co-workers, as well as ensuring that co-workers can enjoy an inclusive workplace that welcomes and celebrates diversity. This is a crucial topic, impacting on all co-workers, because it reflects Triodos Bank’s mission to help create a society that protects and promotes the quality of life of all its members, and that has human dignity at its core.

Gender equality is important to us. In 2019 Triodos employed 740 women (49.6%) and 753 men (50.4%). The share of women in management positions is 44%.

Triodos Bank can make a profound difference to the lives of the people it employs. It puts a great deal of effort into trying to get this right and learning where it can improve. For example, in Triodos Bank Spain an equality plan is in place and an equality agent has been appointed to coordinate and promote gender diversity activities. In The Netherlands the organisation is working with an external partner to attract and employ co-workers with a distance to the labour market, such as people with physical or learning disabilities and refugees. Most banking entities are working to develop a more inclusive network and look to collaborate with partners.

Triodos Bank takes the health and safety of its co-workers very seriously. Most of its offices have a Health and Safety committee present. However, it does not yet measure the percentage of co-workers represented in health and safety programmes.

Fair rewards for all co-workers

Triodos Bank believes people should be properly and appropriately rewarded for their work. Pay is an important element of this. For Triodos Bank that means, amongst other things, not offering bonus or share option schemes. The same salary scales and criteria are applied to determine the salary for men and women. The organisation monitors remuneration both within the company and in relation to the rest of the financial and banking sector, and wider society.

In The Netherlands, which is home to the Executive Board, the Head Office, Triodos Investment Management and Triodos Bank Netherlands, the ratio of the highest full-time salary to the median full-time salary was 5.6 in 2019 (2018: 5.6). This ratio is also reported in the Key Figures section at the start of this report reflecting the GRI methodology. It is reviewed and discussed within the Executive Board and with the Supervisory Board in the light of developments inside and outside the organisation.

Triodos Bank seeks a healthy balance between external developments (competition and tensions in the labour market, good inflow and outflow of co-workers) and internal consistency. Maintaining this balance presents challenges as the business evolves, so the organisation has defined a bandwidth as a guiding principle. For the ratio of highest to median pay this stands at 7.

For more information on the international remuneration and nomination policy please refer to the annual accounts.

Prospects 2020

Triodos Bank’s ambition is to be a ‘great place to work’ for its co-workers. A place of positive energy, passionate people and effective ways of working that allow the organisation to reach its strategic goals and achieve its mission. Under the banner of ‘Make Change Work’ Triodos Bank will further focus its efforts, celebrate successes, learn from the community of co-workers and achieve results together in 2020 and beyond.

The organisation will continue to foster a strong co-worker community: able to act in the now, with an eye on the future.

Organisational culture programme

The organisation will be strengthened to become more effective at delivering, embracing and benefiting from change, with a focus on four key areas: result-oriented decision making, discipline to implement, dealing with tensions and learning and improving together. More specifically this will mean:

  • Organisational culture is further embedded and anchored throughout the organisation
  • Action plans stimulated by the co-worker survey will be monitored and implemented
  • Leadership approach will be strengthened both locally and at a group level
  • A revised and harmonised appraisal process will be introduced.

Learning and development

Triodos Bank will further develop as a learning organisation via the following objectives;

  • Implement a Learning Management System to provide an overview of online and offline learning opportunities across Triodos Bank
  • Continue to enable co-workers to connect with the essence and mission
  • Translate the strengthened leadership approach into the leadership development curriculum
  • Broaden learning and development opportunities available for all co-workers.